I'll have to stick out my neck regarding Ruth Conniff ("Balancing Family Life and Work," 4/18/08), because I do not know her. What percentage of the world's population has her options in life? She graduated from Yale, she acknowledges that she is lucky in her career, she states that having both work and children is a given, and her daughter already at age 4 (!) is on a fabulous career track to be a physician.
Conniff acknowledges that she had no doubt that she could do anything that her male peers could do. Perhaps most of the people I know, of both sexes, have little prospect of doing what the majority of either their male and female peers can do. Do more than 2% of people have Conniff's privileges in life?
I usually enjoy Ruth Conniff's columns. For one thing, she seems supportive of the working woman, the single woman, the divorced mother - and I am all three. Therefore, I was puzzled to read that "good daycare costs as much as college." Given that she has three children, I don't doubt that she knows the cost of good daycare.
However, as a great childcare provider (if I don't toot my own horn, who will?), I certainly don't make enough money to send my son to college. From a full-time client I make less than $1,000/month and am barely making ends meet, with 2.8 clients.
I would love to know the "great" college that charges $12,000 a year tuition, as I would enroll my son immediately for the fall semester.
Karen Culbertson, Baby Love Childcare
Editor's note: UW-Madison, by many measures a great university, charged state residents $7,188 for undergraduate tuition in the 2007-08 academic year. University housing cost another $6,650.
Not a problem
Reporter Vikki Kratz questioned whether private, nonprofit service agencies could handle Family Care, a highly regarded long-term care program that is currently being expanded statewide ("Partners in Peril," 4/25/08).
The article cited the closure of a program operated by a local nonprofit as a cause for concern that the state Department of Health and Family Services had failed to keep its promise to fully fund Family Care. The article further implied that the closure of a program in Dane County is predictive of financial difficulty as Family Care is expanded statewide.
The closure of the partnership program at Community Living Alliance was not caused by the methodology the department uses to fund Family Care expansion, nor does it impact ongoing Family Care operations and expansion across Wisconsin.
Family Care gives people the care they need while ensuring cost effectiveness. We need to make community-based long-term care more accessible to Wisconsin elders and individuals with disabilities who need it.
The department's method to set rates for Family Care is approved by the federal government and is certified as sound by an independent actuary.
Sinikka Santala, administrator,
Division of Long Term Care, State Department of Health and Family Services